So I found myself in my mid-30’ s addicted to reality TV modeling shows & I developed a love & passion for the art of modeling. Every mirror was a camera & every hallway was a catwalk. I even was privy to hook up with a few photographers who confirmed that I really had what it took to rock a photo shoot. Friends would tell me that if ever those modeling shows allowed older women, that I should definitely apply.
Then one day, the doors of Heaven opened up & lo & behold, its, “She’ s Got the Look,” a modeling competition reality show for women over the age of 35. I couldn’ t believe it! It was a dream come true. But I was concerned, because I knew I wasn’ t “ model-height” at 5’5” tall. I called up Wilhelmina, the contracting agency for the winner of the show. They told me that although the show is open to everyone & anyone, that they only contract with women 5’ 9 & taller.
Wow…so I might have a chance of getting on the show, but I can not win? All because of my height? Something that is not even in my control to change? The sting of height-discrimination was very real & painful, but at the urging of friends, I applied for the show anyhow. The casting process was very lengthy & involved. It was a few months long & included extensive Psychological evaluations, on-camera interviews & doctor’ s exams.
Well, out of thousands of women from across the country, I was chosen to be a part of the top 20. I was actually led to believe that I was in the top 10. It wasn’ t until I flew to L.A. & arrived at the set that I realized that there were actually 20 of us & that 10 of us would be getting eliminated that day.
I was in the land of “ Glamazons” at that point and doing all that I could to fit that typical “ model-mold”. I had on my 6 inch heeled boots to look as tall as I could despite the excruciating pain. I also chose to dress in a way that concealed my curves & athleticism…after all; models don’ t have muscles or curves. It was really quite ridiculous when I think about it. As much as I wanted to take off my jacket because it was warm on set, I knew I couldn’ t. And I definitely couldn’ t take off my shoes & “ offend” them with just how “ petite” I really was. Well, long story “ short” (pun intended) – there was a runway “ challenge” (which I ROCKED) but I was still eliminated.
The experience was a valuable lesson for me in being more accepting and proud of how God made me instead of trying to be something that I’ m not. It also fueled my desire to want to do whatever I could to help Bella Petite Magazine with breaking open doors for petites in the fashion industry. Why? Because petite models got it goin’ on! We rock!
Written by: Jeanene Cannon “Bringing Fitness To Your Community”
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2 thoughts on “She’s Got the Height [petite models]”
Well dear sister, I can not say how much I relate. I too, got interested at a later age, just because my children were all in school and wanted to puruse the “modeling dream” I had since a young girl. Why I still have no idea! I also was thrilled to hear of “She’s got the look” as I also am 5’5″ . I actually sent in my app last year, and was going to the auditions in Columbus last December for season 3. However, my house burnt down the week before, well part of it, so we were all in a hotel at the time. Could not leave my 9 kids there without me or that would have burnt to the ground too. I did know that Wilhelmina was a sponsor, and the prize was the contract….however to say you wouldn’t qualify because of your height, now that is total bologna if I ever heard it. News to me. We deserve just as much as anyone else…petite power sister…thanks for the insight! Sounds like you got things going on girl.
Wow tht really sucks…. I’m a teenager and always dreamed of being a model but when I was fourteen tht dream was crushed. I find it stupid tht models have to be so tall. Everyone I know is petite (normal) and a few ppl I know r tall. Even though many of my family members are tall I’ve always been the “shortest” (5’5). My mom gave me the idea to make my own fashion line since I love cutting and making clothes and if it ever got big I should model my clothes. Why does anyone want to see someone modeling clothes when they can’t relate to the model!